Category Archives: Vancouver street food
Restaurants say food trucks are killing business
Good afternoon great foodie friends.
Are Food trucks / carts unfairly killing restaurant business?
First let me state clearly that culinary wonderment is served equally by great restaurants and food trucks alike. I have no bias against either business model, but on the contrary, I do believe that any and all businesses need to earn their patrons just as any retail or wholesale business should.
When I listen to the debate, it is clear that many facts are being overlooked or ignored. I do feel that the food trucks are unnecessarily on the defensive side of this debate, but believe that a healthy, factual debate can educate the general public, as well as hopefully dispel some questionable facts.
Lets ask the question-Why is there a debate about this issue at all?
It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you will always have competition nipping at your heels and that should fuel your fire and desire to earn and gain repeat business based on some basic business principles.
In this case:
*Good location or better known as-“location, location, location”
*Good to great food
*Attention to detail
*Understanding your costs and your customer
I have always maintained that the only way to create great food with over the top flavors is through food that is made from the heart and the soul of the culinary master. The difference shown by the cook/chef that loves what they do and truly feels the passion for culinary magic, shows itself from the moment you see the food, then smell the flavours and finally taste the creation…… A little over top in my explanation maybe?…..I don’t think so.
Now lets talk about some of the arguments we hear from the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association who states:
The Restaurants have a significantly higher economic reality around leases and property taxes than the food trucks do.
While there may be some truth to this statement, the missing facts are as follows:
*Food trucks pre-pay for parking for all day when most are only able to operate between the hours of 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.
*Food trucks must have a commissary kitchen which can cost upwards of $2000/ month, they may not use a home based kitchen.
*Most food truck/carts must park their trucks in a secured, enclosed garage.
*Food trucks are supporting 2 kitchens between their truck and commissary and susceptible to 2 health food inspections.
*Most food trucks business is “seasonal” when it rains many patrons don’t come
*Food trucks have to start and maintain a marketing effort to garner patrons to try their new concept.
*Food trucks are at the mercy of the city when it comes to road closures for events or road work and may have to move their location at anytime with little notice
The debate needs to be heard, but on a fair playing field. At the end of the day, if you can’t offer customer satisfaction on many levels whether you are a food truck or a restaurant you won’t earn repeat patrons. People work hard for their money these days and will vote with their dollar when it comes to where and when they will eat.
Due to where they are situated in downtown Vancouver, many food trucks or carts become destination locations for those patrons not working in the surrounding towers. At first my thoughts may have been that the food trucks would give some restaurants a run for their money but as I searched harder for who comes to the trucks, I found that it is mostly the surrounding business towers occupants, who would at many times be bringing a bag lunch or may opt for fast food. The fact that they have only so much time for lunch likely precluded them from making a restaurant meal a daily ritual in the first place. Many of the food trucks offer them a healthy unique alternative to a bag lunch or fast food.
When we want to sit down with friends or for a business luncheon, most – if not all- would make their way to a favorite restaurant.
Basically what we need the city to do in regards to this issue, is understand that restaurant saturation needs to be monitored and licences issued in areas that aren’t over loaded already with food trucks or restaurants.
The two business models can co-exists if they all play to their strengths and earn the repeat business $ that they all search for. Lets not blame the restaurants or the food trucks for these debates, lets try and consider all the facts and support our favourite restaurants and food trucks….. Lets be proud of the Culinary Mecca that Vancouver has become. We are so lucky to have so many talented chefs in our great city…..lets embrace and support the deserved.
In conclusion, have you now noticed some successful food trucks have also opened a brick and mortar location?
I think that it begs the question, who is the debate really with.
Tags: Food trucks, restaurants, controversy, are food trucks taking restaurants business
Categories: you ask for it and I’ll find it out!
Please look at this great article from BC Living about catering your event with Food trucks!
Vancouver Culinary offerings expand!
- Yolks Breakfast- great food cart
Happy Friday great foodie friends…
Something about the weekend being around the corner starts to stir thoughts of breakfast!
Head on down and see Chef Steve and Hannah and try one of their tasty delights of the day!
Today Tempura Panko avocado sandwich- poached free range eggs, fresh cilantro, Panko coated and fried avocado, topped with lime hollandaise
If eggs aren’t on your mind today, see if they have their homemade chicken and waffles….
Free range fried chicken served on home made waffles with fresh butter and maple syrup (ask for the 100%)
Wow…. True yum!
This breakfast cart is by no means “fast food”, if you didn’t know any better you truly would believe that a wonderful chef created it in his restaurant or hotel kitchen! In fact a wonderful Chef Steve did create it but with a little chefs magic and talent in a confined space but really quite nice food cart.
Go see Chef Steve and see what I mean!
Good afternoon happy foodie friends,
Yolk’s Breakfast – Food Cart
Go down and see Steve, Mario and Hannah at Yolk’s Breakfast
Chef- Steven Ewing:
Steven Ewing was born and raised in a restaurant that his father owned and operated and was destined to be in the industry from a young age. Graduating from Dubrulle French Culinary School at the age of 19 Steven quickly moved up the kitchen line and landed his first Sous Chef position by the age of 21 at the famous Beach Side Café in West Vancouver. He then opened the acclaimed Dock 503 Waterfront Café in Sydney on Vancouver Island. Four and a half years of traveling abroad followed where Steven worked at the French Laundry in Napa Valley California (considered by many to be the single best restaurant in North America) amongst other fine dining establishments.
His partner Mario Margaritis- whom I haven’t met yet…. More to come later
And smilin Hannah
Spinach, roasted mushrooms, egg, goat cheese “Benny” with a hash brown skewer drizzled with truffle oil and lemon juice.
Served also with a Croque Madame muffin.
The flavors were incredible and popped with freshness!
Truffle oil is a delight only when used properly and in the perfect amount or balanced with a counter flavor allowing it to be an enhancement rather than an overpowering flavor buster! This was the PERFECT amount!
Okay, if you saved room…. You must try the To Die For Banana Bread from Erin Ireland. Made from fresh organic bananas, free range eggs, olive oil, organic nuts and Bernard Callebaut chocolate.
Chef Steve and Hannah will recommend you try it, do is all I can add….
Yolk’s is truly committed to ethical and sustainable practices and spend the time to source as many local ingredients and support the local farmers and suppliers as possible.
This truck has only been on the corner of Dunsmuir and Beatty street for approx a month, but looks to already be earning a strong following solely from the great flavor combinations that they make each day and an unbelievable personable approach to their customers!
You Gotta Try This!
Vij’s Railway Expresa – Cassava Poutine
Good afternoon fellow foodie friends.
In an ever evolving culinary cultural city we are so fortunate to have ready access to many new and wondrous culinary treats from around the world.
The perfect part of our culinary eclectic city is that you never need to look far for something new or unique!
Today – Cassava Poutine!
A play on a truly Eastern Canadian treat!
What is Cassava? You ask:
(Here is a note from About.com)
If you don’t already know what it is, you’re probably wondering what is cassava or yuca? It is a long tuberous starchy root about two inches around and eight inches long. The root has a brown fibrous skin and snowy white interior flesh. Because it bruises easily, it’s often sold covered in a protective wax coating. Other names for cassava are yuca, manioc, mandioca, yucca root, casabe, and tapioca.
Cassava is native to Brazil and the tropical areas of the Americas. It’s widely grown all over Latin America and the Caribbean. It was, and still is, an essential root vegetable in the Caribbean diet. It’s been around, since before Columbus’s arrival, as a staple food of the Taino, Carib, and Arawak population, especially in the form of cassava bread. Because it was so crucial to the culture, the natives revered it. A 1554 Spanish historical account describes a ceremony in which a native priest blessed cassava bread and then divided it among the tribal people present. The recipients then preserved the bread to protect their families from danger throughout the following year. Cassava is still eaten throughout all the islands today and you’ll find it piled high at produce markets.
Traditional poutine is french fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy… And by the way are not all created equal.
Vij’s play on this dish is truly unique and full of flavor wow! $8.50
The layers of flavors as you eat this delectable dish unfold in your mouth to truly create a flavor party!
Make sure that you get down to Vancouver before the trucks potentially close due to inclement weather and enjoy what new flavors and foods are offered while the weather lasts.
If you are a little cold, try one of Vij’s fresh made Chai teas!
You Gotta Try This!
- The Juice Truck
Good evening great foodie friends….
Some days you just don’t know exactly what you feel like to eat or drink and then if you are lucky you may happen upon a great truck serving up the flavors of health and goodness!
You will be automatically greeted by two smiling faces- Zach and Ryan and some friendly assistants….
There is a reason that these guys were recognized by and featured on the Food Network show Eat Street……
When you work the magic of the juicer and create such a tasty wonderment in a cup, you deserve the “following” that Zach and Ryan have earned….
Today I was feeling a little blah so started off with a “wellness shot“!
The wellness shot is a good pre-curser to the Strawberry Coconut – strawberries blended with coconut meat, coconut milk, banana, raw cacao nibs, vanilla and agave.
Ahhhhh…. So fresh and such a perfect blend of natural flavors.
Next time, I think it will be time for a wellness shot and a “Raw Chai Brownie”
Dates with raw cacao powder, hazelnut, coconut oil, ground flax seed, maple syrup, vanilla & chai spices
I suggest that you take a look at Zach and Ryan’s new product – The Juice Cleanse
Now available on their website and only available through online ordering.
The Juice Truck- The Juice Cleanse
I haven’t tried it yet myself but plan on ordering some this week as I have heard some good things about it from some Juice Truck patrons.
Where are they located and when are they open?
They’re in a big pink (technically, it’s watermelon) truck on the corner of Abbott and Water Street in Gastown. Sometimes, on weekends only, you’ll find them in Kitsilano.
Weekdays: 11:30am – 5:00pm.
You Gotta Try This!
<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/1590034/restaurant/Gastown/The-Juice-Truck-Vancouver”><img alt=”The Juice Truck on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1590034/biglink.gif” style=”border:none;padding:0px;width:200px;height:146px” /></a>
Soho Road – Naan Kebabs street cart
While the Vancouver weather is still so nice make a trip to downtown Vancouver and stop by to see Sarb, Mack and Uncle at Soho Road.
Vancouver is lucky to have so many great street food trucks / carts that you should do your best to try one or better yet, mix it up and try a few!!
It is such pleasure to see the many simple ingredients being prepared right in front of you…… Trust when I say, it makes all the difference
Uncle is rolling the naan dough right in front of you and then shapes it and sets it into what looks like a custom clay oven.
Traditional naan is baked in a clay oven reaching temperatures of nearly 900F.
Beside Uncle, Sarb and Mack are taking the fresh baked chicken and lamb off the long skewers that look so fresh and full of flavor!
Today Sarb was making a 1/2 Butter Chicken kebab on fresh baked naan bread right out of the clay baker- tandoori chicken with butter chicken sauce, tamarind chutney and salad made of cucumber, tomato, red onion and cilantro….
The flavors popped and were fresh… The smell of the fresh naked naan while you were eating was a lingering delight!
You Gotta Try This!
Good day great foodie friends….
In researching this unique play on an egg dish I have found that this British treat is well known in the UK.
The British say that the scotch egg needs no introduction – their English origins go back a few hundred years (they were said to have been created by the department store Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in 1738).
The British may need no introduction but I think many North Americans may….
So here is my findings……
A scotch egg is basically a hard boiled egg wrapped in flavorful sausage meat, breaded and deep fried or baked.
What Pig on The Street does is kick it up several notches!
What do they do with it you ask?
Bacon of course
Chef Krissy adds their double smoked bacon, caramelized onions, farmhouse cheddar, avocado and a wonderful spicy heirloom ketchup…. All wrapped up in Pig On The Streets handmade flat bread…. The layers of textures and different flavors found in this sandwich all go towards the wow factor on your taste buds.
This unique sandwich definitely adds a new dimension to the Pigs menu board.
The Scotch egg is a guest star offering so keep your eyes on twitter (follow the piggy @PigOnTheStreet) for a heads up from Krissy or Mark or also for any mention on the vans “specials” window!
You Gotta Try This!